Liz Vayda wears a lot of hats: She is the owner of plant retail paradise, B. Willow, and also the front woman of ethereal electronic band Vayda, which recently opened for indie duo Best Coast at the Ottobar. But Vayda is bringing more than just indoor plants and dreamy melodies to the Remington community. Nearly two years ago, she launched For the Greater Goods, a craft market designed to give small businesses and artists in the area a space to sell their goods that also donates a portion of all booth fees to charity.
“Being able to have an open setting where I could meet people, they could see my work, and we could talk about it was really impactful when developing my business,” Vayda says. “I just wanted to do that for other people.”
For the Greater Goods started out small, with the first market having only 18 vendors inside Bolton Hill artist collective Dust Town Studios. From there, it gradually grew through social media and word of mouth, moving to Hampden’s Church & Company events space before making R. House in Remington its new home base in May.
While For the Greater Goods was held more sporadically in the past, R. House is allowing the market to take over its garage space on a Saturday at the beginning of each month, with the first events being held November 4 and December 9, ideal for holiday shopping. The upcoming markets will feature more than 40 vendors—including Drunken Rum Cakes, 3angles, and Pearlswirl jewelry to name a few—with a wide array of handmade goods, food, and accessories.
“I want to revive the notion of the commons or the town square,” says Vayda. “I think it would be cool to see people coming in month after month to see what’s going on in the community.”
And while the exposure is great for the small businesses, the market’s name implies its larger goal. Each month, the market picks a charitable cause, donates a portion of vendors’ booth fees to that organization, and gives the group a free booth to help spread its mission.
“I definitely get a lot of gratification thinking about how, in some way, this is stimulating our local economy and giving Remington another attribute that is different from the new development,” Vayda says. “This creates a sense of pride for small businesses.”